Welcome to the News & Reviews section here at Doctor Who Online! This is where you will find all the latest Doctor Who related news and reviews split up into easy to use sections - each section is colour coded for your convenience. The latest items can be found at the top, and older items follow down the page.

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7 October 2013

After many months of speculation, the BBC is now tantalisingly close to officially announcing the discovery of missing episodes of Doctor Who from the 1960's.

Following yesterdays (inaccurate) report from The Mirror newspaper (quoting from the original Sunday People article) that "106 Doctor Who Episodes have been uncovered in Ethiopia", DWO took to Twitter to clarify some of the misleading details, simply stating missing episodes had been found, but that the BBC will announce it officially in due course:

Radio Times then took it upon themselves to scoop the waiting media with further details by reporting that newly discovered lost episodes are being prepared for digital release this week. The article suggested that two missing episodes will be released on Wednesday, before quickly removing reference to the number two and the word 'episodes' - suggesting it could be whole stories.

Their amended statement now reads:

"BBC Worldwide will put the previously lost episodes from different stories – both believed to be from the Patrick Troughton era – for sale on digital platforms such as iTunes from Wednesday, RadioTimes.com understands. They are believed to originate from a haul discovered in Africa and have been digitally remastered for sale, although exact details remain sketchy."

Online speculation has been rife, with many rumours circulating that the two stories to be released will be 'The Web Of Fear' and 'The Enemy Of The World' - both featuring Patrick Troughton as The Doctor. There are also reports that the First Doctor adventure, 'Marco Polo' could also be announced.

It is also widely believed that beyond the imminent announcement, that further episodes have been recovered and will be announced at a later date.

Members of the press have been invited to attend a press conference this week which will officially confirm the news.

It is expected that an in-depth feature covering the discovery of the missing episodes will appear in an upcoming issue of Doctor Who Magazine.

Which two, missing Doctor Who stories would you like to be announced have been found this week? Post your choices in the comments box below! 

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[Sources: Radio Times; The MirrorDoctor Who Online]

1 September 2013

Researches for a forthcoming biography of a ‘60s Doctor Who writer have turned up an intriguing curio: a draft script of William Hartnell’s final episode which doesn’t end with the Doctor regenerating.

William Hartnell’s Doctor bowed out in October 1966 with the four-part adventure “The Tenth Planet”, a story which not only introduced the concept that the Doctor could change his appearance, but also saw the first appearance of the Cybermen.

Now author Michael Seely, who’s working on a biography of the story’s co-author, Dr Kit Pedler, has unearthed draft scripts of all four episodes which predate the decision to write out William Hartnell.

“I found these scripts and two more from ‘The Moonbase’ (known then as ‘The Return Of The Cybermen’) among a very large collection of Kit’s papers which one of his children had kept in their attic,” explains Seely. “As I looked through it, I realised it was the first draft [script editor and co-writer] Gerry Davis prepared when Kit fell ill in June 1966."

"The structure is more or less the same, though a lot of the dialogue is different. Some things were cut, especially involving the Cybermen. For example, the Cybermen planned to convert [companion] Polly and the Doctor into Cybermen towards the end of the story, and kept them prisoner in what they described as a waiting room. The most eye-catching difference is what didn’t happen at the end of the episode.”

The fact that this script was written in June 1966 and rehearsals for the story began on 14 September only underlines that the actor’s departure was decided upon rather late in the day (Hartnell’s wife’s diary records that he told her on 16 July 1966).

“Gerry Davis and [producer] Innes Lloyd were always very diplomatic and tactful in their interviews,” says Seely. “Both died in 1991, long before ‘warts and all’ interviews became the norm. We know that William Hartnell was being persuaded to give up the role he loved over the summer of 1966, and that they were sounding out replacements. He only decided to leave in the middle of July, the month after this draft was written.”

The cache of Pedler’s papers also includes five original storylines for Doomwatch, the 1970-1972 eco-thriller TV series he co-created with Gerry Davis - including several that were never made - as well as proposals for further TV shows, a couple of never-recorded radio plays, and various unfinished books and short stories.

+  The Quest For Pedler by Michael Seely is due for release in Early 2014. Visit www.miwk.com for more details.

[Source: SFX]

27 August 2013

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Series Doctor Who Actor, Christopher Burgess.

Christopher was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for appearing in the Classic Series, 2nd Doctor adventure; The Enemy Of The World as Swann, and in the 3rd Doctor adventures; Terror Of The Autons as Professor George Philips, and Planet Of The Spiders as Barnes.

Christopher's other career highlights include; Z Cars, The Medusa Touch and Jossy's Giants.

DWO would like to extend our sympathies to Christopher's family and friends.

[Source: Toby Hadoke]

27 August 2013

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Series Doctor Who Actor, Michael Goldie.

Michael was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for appearing in the Classic Series, 1st Doctor adventures; The Dalek Invasion Of Earth as Jack Craddock, and The Chase as Mire Beast, and the 2nd Doctor adventure; The Wheel In Space as Elton Laleham.

Michael's other career highlights include; Robin Hood: Prince Of ThievesLady Jane and Coronation Street.

DWO would like to extend our sympathies to Michael's family and friends.

[Source: Neil Marsh]

7 August 2013

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Series Doctor Who Actor, Kristopher Kum.

Kristopher was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for appearing in the Classic Series, 3rd Doctor adventure; The Mind Of Evil as Fu Peng.

Kristopher's other career highlights include; Revenge Of The Pink PantherGwendoline and The Bridges Of Fu Manchu.

DWO would like to extend our sympathies to Kristopher's family and friends.

[Source: Neil Marsh]

23 June 2013

Llandaff Society is hoping to join celebrations for the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who by unveiling a plaque for creator of The Daleks, Terry Nation, on the home he grew up in, in Cardiff.

Now the heritage loving Llandaff Society is hoping to celebrate the life of their creator, Terry Nation, with a blue plaque on the home he grew up in Cardiff.

The group’s chairman, Geoff Barton-Greenwood, said:

“We are trying to get a blue plaque put up at the time of the 50th anniversary on the house where Terry Nation came from. At the moment we are seeking permission from the owner of the house and, in addition, we want the BBC to take an interest in this, and possibly get one of the main characters from the Doctor Who series to do the unveiling.

If we could get Matt Smith we would be delighted. But we don’t know whether he will be around.

If you look at the duration of the Doctor Who series, over a 50 year period, and the fact that the Daleks appeared in the second series and have been there ever since as the arch enemy of the doctor, there must be something about them that has made them iconic to young people.

My grandson has vast images of them on his walls. It has made a big impression on him. Just like it did on his father, who is now 41.”

He is waiting for the BBC’s head of drama publicity to get in touch with him.

Terry lived in 113 Fairwater Grove West, which is tenanted currently. He was a schoolboy at Canton High School and lived at Fairwater Grove West for the first 20 years of his life before going off to make his fortune in London, and subsequently in Hollywood as a scriptwriter.

Terry also came up with cult sci-fi shows Blake’s 7 and Survivors, and worked on The Avengers, The Baron, The Persuaders, The Champions, Department S, and The Saint.

It is hoped CADW will provide half the funding for the memorial, which would be made either from ceramic or aluminium.

There is no official blue plaque scheme in Wales but there is a civic initiative scheme run by the Welsh Government agency.

A BBC spokeswoman said:

“Terry Nation was a fantastic writer and we would be happy to support this recognition of his creative talent.”

A CADW spokesman said:

“There is no dedicated blue plaque scheme, such as in England, but Cadw can make grants to voluntary organisations for plaques to commemorate historic places or people. The Civic Initiatives Heritage Grants Scheme is aimed at small-scale projects which help to preserve, enhance or improve the historic environment of Wales and increase social awareness of Welsh heritage.”

[Source: WalesOnline]

15 June 2013

As a Doctor Who website, posting a news item relating to missing Doctor Who episodes is a particularly conflictive task. On one hand you want to hold off on posting news due to the possible reaction you might get from smaller circles of fandom, whereas on the other hand, it's surely our duty to report it - after all, news is news, right?

Some of our readers may remember a news item we posted a few years ago about the possibility that The Web Of Fear may have been found - note the words 'possibility' and 'may'. While we also added that our source was reliable in the past and had no reason to disbelieve them, this particular news item turned out to hit a dead end and despite the majority of our readers who were grateful for the reporting of the story, we did face a backlash from some smaller circles of fandom on online forums.

A couple of days ago, Rich Johnston of Bleeding Cool News, posted a news item relating to some of the rumours that have been doing the rounds for the past few months - rumours that, up until now, we have avoided reporting on.

The rumour is that a considerable number of lost Doctor Who episodes have been found by "an eccentric engineer who worked for broadcasters across Africa with a taste for science fiction and a habit of taking things for safe keeping".

DWO can confirm that we have been approached with news from several high-profile sources, some of which confirm these rumours and some that conflict with them and the actual figure of the number of episodes rumoured to have been found.

Whilst it would be easy to blurt out everything we have been told, we retain the caution from previous rumours and hoaxes, and will simply hold out for official confirmation - when and if it comes. What we will say is that *should* the rumours be true, despite the initial excitement at the possibility, it would be wise to sit back and let the BBC do what they need to do to secure these episodes *if* in fact they have been found.

We of course encourage debate and discussion which you can take part in on the dedicated DWO Forums Missing Episodes thread using the 'Discuss' button below.

[Sources: Bleeding Cool News; Doctor Who Online]

14 May 2013

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Series Doctor Who Actor, Aubrey Woods.

Aubrey was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for appearing in the Classic Series, 3rd Doctor adventure; Day Of The Daleks as The Controller.

Aubrey's other career highlights include; Willy Wonka And The Chocolate FactoryThe Old Curiosity Shop and Blakes 7.

DWO would like to extend our sympathies to Aubrey's family and friends.

[Source: Neil Marsh]

1 May 2013

He may not be in the 50th Anniversary Special (as far as official confirmation in this month's Doctor Who Magazine goes) but thanks to a YouTube user, you can now watch some unseen footage of Paul McGann as The Doctor in his audition video for the 1996 Doctor Who TV Movie.

The video includes scenes that didn't make it into the final script, with some rather surprising revelations concerning Borusa and The Master, in a rare glimpse into what could have been.

Watch Paul McGann's audition video below:

[Source: YouTube]

25 February 2013

Classic Series Doctor Who Makeup Designer, Lisa Westcott, has won an Oscar for her work on Les Miserables.

Lisa won the Oscar, together with colleague Julie Dartnell, in the 'Makeup and Hairstyling' category for their work on Les Miserables, beating off competition from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and Hitchcock.

Lisa worked on the Classic Series, 5th Doctor adventure; 'Black Orchid'.

[Source: Neil Marsh]

23 February 2013

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Designer of The Daleks, Ray Cusick.

Ray designed the iconic look of The Daleks - brainchild of creator, Terry Nation. The design of The Daleks has changed very little since the 1960's and at the time of designing, Cusick was on a standard BBC salary, so did not collect any royalties from his designs.

The Daleks have since gone on to earn huge revenues for Terry Nation's estate - a fact which many fans feel Cusick should have received more recognition (and royalties) for.

During his life, Cusick always stated he never asked for money, only to be recognised as a designer.

DWO would like to extend our sympathies to Raymond's family and friends.

[Source: BBC News]

21 February 2013

BBC Children's TV presenters, Dick & Dom, have been in touch with DWO to let us know about a Doctor Who related episode of their 'Absolute Genius' series, which features Composer, Delia Derbyshire.

Dick and Dom reveal the genius of Delia Derbyshire, a pioneer of modern-day music who helped create the Doctor Who theme tune. Inspired by Derbyshire, they come up with their own genius idea when they record their own version of the Doctor Who theme tune with a twist.

Watch the episode on BBC iPlayer below (UK Only):

+  Follow @DickNDom on Twitter.

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[Source: Dick & Dom]

19 February 2013

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Series Doctor Who Actress, Elspet Gray.

Elspet was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for appearing in the Classic Series, 5th Doctor adventure; Arc Of Infinity as Thalia. She also appeared in the Big Finish Doctor Who audio adventure Immortal Beloved, in which she played Hera.

Elspet's other career highlights include; Catweazle, The Black Adder, Tenko and Dinnerladies.

DWO would like to extend our sympathies to Elspet's family and friends.

[Source: Neil Marsh]

18 February 2013

It is with deepest regret that DWO announces the passing of Classic Series Doctor Who Actor, Richard Briers.

Richard was perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans for appearing in the Classic Series, 7th Doctor adventure; Paradise Towers as Chief Caretaker. He also appeared in the Torchwood episode A Day In The Death as Parker.

Richard's other career highlights include; The Good Life, Ever Decreasing Circles, Down To EarthMonarch Of The GlenLove's Labour's Lost and Cockney's Versus Zombies.

DWO would like to extend our sympathies to Richard's family and friends.

[Source: BBC News]

17 February 2013

The Daleks invaded London earlier this morning and resistance was useless – insofar as it was impossible to resist the striking sight of The Doctor’s iconic enemies swarming through the capital!

But their presence was not part of a plan to enslave Earth – or at least that’s what the production team is saying! The cast and crew of An Adventure in Space and Time were there to recreate some of the most memorable moments from Doctor Who’s early years – the scenes from The Dalek Invasion of Earth where the metal monsters imperiously glided through London, gloriously framed against the backdrop of famous sites like the Palace of Westminster.

Back in 1964 the photos of the ‘invasion’ became instant classics and over the years the imagery of those episodes has been referenced and updated on several occasions. But this is the first time that a production team has attempted to faithfully replicate the 1964 shoot using Daleks that were unique to that single adventure. The results look set to be stunning, as you can find out for yourselves when An Adventure in Space and Time - a one-off drama exploring the genesis of Doctor Who - debuts later this year.

A promotional image (pictured-right) was posted by the BBC Doctor Who website this morning.

Writer, Mark Gatiss, recorded a short video diary to make the event, which you can view below:

[Source: BBC Doctor Who website]

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